By: Jaana Rehnstrom
Kota friends gathered on May 12 at Second Stage Theater in Times Square to see the new Broadway musical, which has already won accolades elsewhere in the US. Part of the proceeds went to benefit our organization, so it gave us a chance to support not only great artistic talent and a female empowerment message, but also our own organization at the same time.
The play was written by Joe DiPietro, and has apparently undergone many changes on the way as a result of feedback from the director and the actors. When I first heard about the plot – a single mother, struggling to make a living making music, traveling in time to meet Ernest Shackleton, the arctic explorer – I thought, OK is this another romantic story where the woman finds her prince to save her….? But no – as it turns out, they inspire each other to overcome great odds, and in the end she finds the power within herself.
A story about two people facing great adversity , and yet it manages to be optimistic, funny and of course, a bit crazy. The show employs a lot of multimedia effects, including fascinating original footage from the Antarctic expedition of 1914. The two characters (actually 3, as Wade McCollum plays both Ernest and Bruce, the deadbeat dad) are winsome and have beautiful voices – in addition, Val Vigoda plays the violin and handles various other instruments masterfully. I was in awe of the compositions, lyrics, the acting and the technological skills that kept it all together.
As a special treat, we got a talkback by the cast and producer moderated by the playwright and composer Lewis Flinn.
Thank you to everyone involved, and if you didn’t see it yet – do so before it finishes its run on June 11. You can buy tickets and learn more about the show by visiting http://ernestshackletonlovesme.com.